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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nina Harris RootVue Planting Project

My sister Steph is pretty cool. She teaches profoundly disabled children at Nina Harris, a public school in Florida, and she came up with a science project for them that was right up my alley. It started with a fundraiser at where she raised money to purchase four RootVue Boxes. These boxes have one clear side which allows you to see the roots growing underground.

With the boxes purchased Steph and her assistant Cathie bought seeds and began teaching their kids about how plants grow and what roots do. They wanted to planted some root vegetables and some vegetables that grow above ground so that the kids could see the difference. Lucky for me I was home in Florida visiting on the big day and got to go in and help the kids plant.

As I prepared the soil we took some to each kid and let them feel it and smell it. These kids are not able to play in the yard or on the playground and may never get a chance to interact with the earth like this. This was my favorite part of the experience because I love playing in the dirt and I loved sharing that with these special boys.
Ian couldn't move much but would show his interest with long stares

Cyriz was so excited about the soil and all the seeds 

Eric got pensive and interested with each new thing we showed him

Steph showing Cyriz how the RootVue boxes work

We all worked together to get the 4 boxes planted

Cyriz tended to explore the world with his mouth
so I had to keep the seeds at a distance, but he was enthralled.

Eric the gardener

Harris, the ever smiling, ever laughing future farmer
Ian helps to plant a seed

About a week later the seeds are sprouting. Yes, I told her to thin them out but now I'm just an out of town consultant. 

Beets, Onions and Radishes all coming up!
Check back later for more pictures and updates from the class including a peek at those roots!

Sweetest Thank You Card Ever. 

If you want to show your kids or classroom how cool roots are check out this book by Kathleen V. Kudlinksi. What Do Roots Do?

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